Greg Lukianoff At FIRE.Org: ‘Emily Bazelon And The Danger Of Bringing “Anti-Bullying” Laws To Campus’

Full review here.

FIRE: The Foundation For Individual Rights In Education.  Lukianoff is the founder.

‘If those of us who defend civil liberties had to name our greatest historical adversary, the leading candidate could be summed up in two words: moral panic. Moral panic is a sudden, powerful, and often highly exaggerated perception within a society that people or their values are facing a dire threat.’

Bullying was the cause celebre for a while, especially amongst those looking for another group of victims to rally around.  Bazelon seems to have taken a more sober and reasoned approach.  This blog is generally supportive of those who aim to protect our civil liberties by battling swells of sentiment which can surge into bad law.

That’s right, gun control advocates, give your politicians better signals, please. 

‘Bazelon emphasizes “bullying, wherever it takes place, isn’t on the rise. It feels more pervasive only because the Web is pervasive,” and that “Though bullying is a problem that cuts across lines of class, race, and geography, the reality is that most kids aren’t directly involved — either as perpetrators or as targets.” She also repeats that punishing bullying often is not the best answer. I was pleasantly surprised to see her acknowledge that there “is truth in the old sticks-and-stones chant,” for which the book is named.’

***Apparently, according to an email, it’s not ‘conservative’ enough to support libertarians in their fight against progressivism, or to support liberals who use J.S. Mill’s harm principle to challenge further Left rationalist totalitarian-types

Nor to give Glenn Greenwald’s civil libertarian tendencies a hearing when it comes to drones and the rule of law, or support Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa’s libertarian and slow change tendecies which blossomed out of the Leftism of his youth, all too standard in Bolivar’s South America.

Admit it, even if you came to learn that Christopher Hitchens started out a Marxist materialist, and ended up a contrarian, eventually tethering himself to the New Atheists, you probably enjoyed it when he defended freedom of speech against its erosion by the politically correct multiculturalists, or perhaps when he wrote his polemics supporting the Iraq war.

Keep the back flap of the tent open, and let people come have a look around.  Civil libertarians are a lot better to have around than intolerant Leftists.

Related On This Site: On Mario Vargas Llosa-Adam Kirsch At The City Journal: ‘The Dream Of The Peruvian’

Christopher Hitchens At Slate: ‘Reflections on Political Violence’

Richard Epstein At Defining Ideas: ‘Drone Wars’

Monday Quotation From Charles Kesler And A Few Thoughts on ConservatismFrom Becker And Posner: Posner On The Future Of ConservatismFrom Darwinian Conservatism: ‘The Evolution of Mind and Mathematics: Dehaene Versus Plantinga and Nagel’

A Few Thoughts On Foreign Policy-Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest: ‘Conservative Principles Of World Order’A Few Quotations From F.A. Hayek’s: ‘Why I Am Not A Conservative’From Volokh: ‘Conservatives, Libertarians, and Civil Rights History’

From The Claremont Institute: ‘Have A Nice Millenium’

Full review here.

Our author also reviewed Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels Of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.

‘For Pinker, modern life is marked by ever increasing circles of reciprocity, encompassing wider and wider groups of people. These interactions encourage habits of self-control and cultivate a deeper respect for others. We are not, however, more empathetic than our ancestors, just more reasonable—better equipped to engage in scientific and abstract reasoning; and he cites claims that I.Q. scores have risen over the past century. Greater intelligence has produced a greater receptivity to liberalism, defined as a respect for personal autonomy and liberty, and quite simply better behavior, reflected by an aversion to the sort of cruelty and violence that was formerly commonplace. Pinker dismisses even our “recent ancestors” as “morally retarded.’

Thanks to a reader for the link.  Here’s Reason’s interview with Pinker a while back about the book in question:


Related On This Site: What about a World Leviathan?: At Bloggingheads Steven Pinker Discusses War And Thomas HobbesFrom Reason.TV Via YouTube: ‘Steven Pinker on The Decline of Violence & “The Better Angels of Our Nature”‘

Simon Blackburn Reviews Steven Pinker’s “The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial Of Human Nature” Via the University Of Cambridge Philosophy Department

Snyder is perhaps not a fan of libertarianism Timothy Snyder Responds To Steven Pinker’s New Book At Foreign Policy: ‘War No More: Why The World Has Become More Peaceful’

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Harvey Mansfield At Defining Ideas: ‘Democracy Without Politics?’

Full review here.

Mansfield reviews a new book by Steven Bilakovics:

‘Steven Bilakovics has written a promising first book that will give concern to all who reflect on democracy today. It begins from the simple observation that although everybody loves democracy, everybody is disgusted by democratic politics. Yet what is democracy if not the rule, the politics, of the people?  ‘

And he argues that Bilakovics doesn’t get Tocqueville quite right, as Tocqueville’s central insight is more about democracy vs. aristocracy rather than materialism vs. idealism:

‘Bilakovics has written a thoughtful book, nicely argued, and with elegant formulations one can admire and insights one can learn from. But it is not Tocqueville; it is something looser, more “open.” A defense of openness is not as open as the openness it defends, especially a good one like this, because it must contend intelligibly with arguments, such as Allan Bloom’s, in favor of reasonable limits upon openness. Somehow a reasoner ought to take the side of reason. I leave this thought, with a salute, to the author, and to Claude Lefort and Sheldon Wolin, who still deserve more attention than they get’

Drop a line if you’ve read the book.

Related On This Site:   From Volokh: Harvey Mansfield Reviews ‘The Executive Unbound’Are You Man Enough? Nussbaum v. MansfieldUpdate And Repost: ‘A Few Thoughts On Allan Bloom–The Nietzsche / Strauss Connection’

From The Harvard Educational Review-A Review Of Martha Nussbaum’s ‘Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education.’Harvey Mansfield At The City Journal: ‘Principles That Don’t Change’

Roger Scruton suggests keeping political and aesthetic judgements apart in the humanities: Roger Scruton In The American Spectator Via A & L Daily: Farewell To JudgmentRoger Scruton At The WSJ: ‘Memo To Hawking: There’s Still Room For God’

Bryan Magee’s series available on youbtube is useful:  Here’s Nietzsche scholar J.P. Stern on Nietzsche’s anti-Christian, anti-secular morality (Kant, utilitarians), anti-democratic, and anti-Greek (except the “heroic” Greek) biases…

Repost-From The New Atlantis: ‘Montesquieu’s Popular Science


Thomas Sowell Reviewed At The American Spectator Via The A & L Daily: “Can’t Live With Them”

Full review here. (Sowell’s new book Intellectuals And Society)

A reasonable review, though not entirely sympathetic.  Our reviewer concludes with:

“I’d say that means not that we have less need of intellectuals, but more need of better ones.”

I would add the following quote by Albert Jay Nock:

‘It is a primary instinct of human nature to satisfy one’s needs and desires with the least possible exertion; everyone tends by instinctive preference to use the political means rather than the economic means, if he can do so.

If you’ve read the book, please share your thoughts.

Also On This Site:  From Fora Via YouTube: ‘Thomas Sowell and a Conflict of Visions’Two Sunday Quotations By Albert Jay Nock in ‘Anarchist’s Progress’

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From CBS-Fareed Zakaria Reviews Charles Murray’s ‘What It Means To Be A Libertarian’

Full piece here. (link broken, email me if you find one…this is a high-class operation)

First published 13 years ago now.

Addition:  It’s been floated that the libertarians thrive in contrast to a liberal White House…part of a current trend…something larger?

Related On This Site:  Fareed Zakaria BBC Interview: America In Decline?Fareed Zakaria At Newsweek: ‘Defusing The Debt Bomb’Fareed Zakaria At Newsweek: ‘Terrorism’s Supermarket’

Are we going soft and “European”… do we need to protect our religious idealism enshrined in the Constitution….with the social sciences?…Charles Murray Lecture At AEI: The Happiness Of People

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